Monday, September 8, 2008

The Band Is Back Together!

Yeah, man! Day 1 back in the gym post-surgery, and what better way to start it off than by training back with my two favorite training partners. Even though I expected to lose some strength during the past four weeks, it was still incredibly frustrating to get in there and have no strength OR stamina. My original plan for the next week or two was to just get back in and feel the movements and get used to training again. Of course, that wasn't exactly how things worked out last night. As usual, we started off with 5x5 dead lifts, and I made it up to 235 for 5 on my fifth set. It was a struggle, but they were clean. I knew I wasn't going to touch 280 for 5 like I did before my surgery, so 235 was ok by me. The boys tried for 1RM and both had some pretty decent showings. Not wanting to test the limits too much, I opted to drop my weight to 185 and crank out 8 and then drop again to 135 for 10. We finished with some wide grip pulldowns, reverse grip rows, two-arm db rows, and close grip pulldowns. Not surprisingly, my back was fried even before I made it out to my car. I felt pretty good on all the exercises, but the pulldowns were tough since I'm still tight in the, um, chest reigion. I had trouble getting the full range of motion and feeling a good squeeze. Tonight is chest, which I'm very leary about and will have to make a concerted effort to TAKE IT EASY.

As far as my nutrition goes, the past four weeks have been a pretty serious breakthrough for me mentally. I have always always ALWAYS feared "getting fat" in the offseason and was very concerned that it would happen over the course of my recovery. While I certainly don't like the loss of muscle, I finally managed to see that I was able to eat a fair amount and maintain my weight and shape. What is truly the breakthrough for me is that I can say that I know I need to eat more food than I was eating four weeks ago in order for me to grow and build muscle--but more importantly that I WILL EAT. I intend to devise a new plan of attack by the end of this week.

In other news, I was at Team U in NYC this weekend working the ALRI booth Friday night and aaaaallllll day Saturday. It was a long weekend for sure, but it was a good time. I got to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while and also got to meet some cool new people. I wasn't fortunate enough to watch much of the show, but I did get to see the figure girls at night. I have to admit, it's sad for me to watch the evolution of figure. I remember watching my very first show at the Tribecca in 2005....Atlantic States. I never thought I'd be on that stage in a million years, never mind on a national level stage. I used to aspire to look like those top level competitors. But with the new look that is being pushed in figure, I was very disheartened to look at the pro card winners from Team U and not want to emulate any of their physiques. That's not to say that they aren't exceptional competitors with great phsyiques, but they have had to morph them into what the judges are looking for now....a look that I no longer admire. It simply reaffirmed why switching to bodybuilding is a good move for me.

Anyway, this weekend I will be heading down to the Atlantic City Pro to work for ALRI again, and I'm sure it'll be another interesting weekend. In the meantime, it's good to be back.

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